“These new attractions will stand you on your head”
Advanced engineering is making rollercoaster rides more and more thrilling. “The engineering is going off the charts,” according to Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc. “These new attractions will stand you on your head.” NBC lists five rides that will be unveiled from spring 2013.
Full Throttle, the 18th rollercoaster to be opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Valencia, California, will be the world’s tallest and fastest looping coaster. It goes from zero to more than 110 km/h in seconds and then throws the trains into reverse. You ride a 50-metre-high loop twice – once on an inside track and once on its outer edge.
A new wing coaster – where passengers dangle off the sides – called GateKeeper at Cedar Point in Ohio has spirals, spins and an in-line roll, and also a zero-gravity roll spinning through narrow slots in the support towers. Meanwhile, a new wooden coaster with stagecoach-style trains at Silver Dollar City in Missouri features a near-vertical 50-metre drop and a 720-degree barrel roll that twists upside-down.
At Boomerang at Six Flags St Louis, trains are pulled backwards up a 40-metre hill, released, plunged through three inversions and then back again – facing backwards.
And finally, the biggest expansion in SeaWorld Orlando’s history is Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, where guests sit in motion-simulator cars and choose between two levels of adventure, each following a young (animated) penguin while interacting with hundreds of living penguins.
[pictured: GateKeeper; courtesy Cedar Point]